La La Lansley finally comes up with sensible idea

James and his snowman (from the 1982 film) mee...

La La in disguise? Wikipedia

Dept of Health

agrees £20 million funding

 

Over the Christmas period, the august Dept. of Health got into the spirit of the season.

And the Department came up with funding to provide Snow wardens, winter workers and community angels to help with shopping and heating homes and provide assistance across the country during the cold weather.

£20 millions was promised to 163 Councils in Government funding. This will enable them to run innovative schemes to help vulnerable people keep warm and safe, and prevent people needing to go to hospital during the winter months.

Schemes include:

Wakefield’s Snowbell Responders will offer free emergency heating, home insulation, visits by a handyperson, benefit checks and home fire safety checks. This scheme, which has received £90,900 from the Department of Health, will help almost a thousand households in Wakefield.

Community Angels in Cumbria will encourage people to look in on their neighbours. Homeless people will be helped into housing and urgent heating and insulation help will be provided for vulnerable people. Cumbria’s bid totals £377,500.

Blackburn’s £114,500 bid will recruit Winter Buddies to help vulnerable people access support services. And emergency packs containing a fleece, hot water bottle, thermal socks, hot drinks, soups and low energy halogen heaters will be distributed.

Lambeth has been given £131,000 for a Winter Workers team to carry out welfare visits, do shopping, walk pets and collect prescriptions. Three hundred Snow Wardens will provide cold weather assistance if it snows. And a handyperson service will help promote energy efficiency, install draft proofing and provide practical aids such as thermometers and body warmers.

In Christmas mood, Lansley said, “Severe winter weather is a real threat to vulnerable people. People are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes, respiratory illnesses can get worse, and there is the risk of falls on slippery ground.

“Every vulnerable person needs help in winter, whether it’s help with shopping, heating the home or making hot meals. We asked councils to come up with innovative ideas to look after their communities and have made £20 million available to fund their plans. I welcome how local authorities, together with charity partners like Age UK and the Community Foundation Network are putting support networks in place. This funding will equip those services to respond to needs and emergencies.

“From mending boilers in Blackburn to walking labradors in Lambeth, this money will make a huge difference to tens of thousands of people this winter.” Age UK is building on this with its own Spread the Warmth winter campaign which aims to help 360,000 older people keep warm and well in the winter months.”

Mind you, as with all Government schemes, it’s not as kindly as it sounds.  It is estimated that over £850 million is spent by the NHS each year as a result of the impact of cold housing on people’s health.

More information:

The Warm Homes Healthy People http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_130564

Or contact your Council, or local Age UK branch.

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